Forensic Facial Identification MSc

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 1 year
  • School: Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID)

Please note: The University is currently reviewing this programme and it may not be open to applications from academic session 2014/15 onwards


Forensic facial identification includes the recognition of victims of crime, missing persons or human remains, and may facilitate the identification, apprehension or conviction of criminals.

This highly innovative one-year taught Masters course will encompass all fields of facial identification.

Why study Forensic Facial Identification at Dundee?

The ability to establish identity is pertinent not only to medico-legal investigations concerning the deceased or missing, but also in the verification of the living. Facial recognition is one of the oldest methods of identification and with recent technological advances there are increased opportunities, applications and social impact for this field.

Here at Dundee, you will be taught by highly specialised tutors from scientific backgrounds together with experienced forensic practitioners.

Staff at the Centre have national and international reputations in forensic anthropology, and several have practical experience of working in conflict zones including Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Iraq. Our staff is regularly contacted for advice and input in identification cases both at home and abroad

What's so good about studying Forensic Facial Identification at Dundee?

You will benefit from the facilities of the Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification (CAHID), including newly-refurbished laboratories, a dedicated library and access to human material in a modern medical science environment.

The Centre was awarded a prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in November 2013. Presented in recognition of 'world class excellence', the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are among the most highly-regarded awards for the UK’s universities and colleges.

Who should study this course?

The MSc course provides professional vocational training to underpin your first degree, before entering employment at the leading edge of the forensic disciplines. The programme should also appeal to science graduates interested in the biometric, anthropology, CCTV analysis and facial recognition fields.

Students will share joint modules with the MSc Forensic Art students with different examination and assessment processes. Students may carry out their semester three Dissertation module either at the University or from a working environment or placement.

The course is delivered using traditional methods including lectures, practical studio sessions and small group discussions with an encouragement into debate and theoretical solutions to current problems.

Semester 1 (60 credits)

  • Anatomy - Head and Neck
  • Computer Face Models
  • Research Methods
  • Facial Analysis and Imaging

Semester 2 (60 credits)

  • Medico-legal Ethics
  • Identification of the Dead
  • Identification of the Living

Semester 3 (60 credits) - dissertation resulting from a research project undertaken either at the University or as a placement.

On successful completion of Semesters 1 and 2 there is an exit award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Art.

Methods of assessment include written examinations, spot tests, practical assessments, presentation and communication assessments and image portfolio assessment.

The programme should also appeal to science graduates interested in the biometric, anthropology, CCTV analysis and facial recognition fields. Possible career options for graduates would include postgraduate researcher, facial identification professional, biometrics operator, forensic surveillance and image analyst.

Year of Entry: 2015

Entry Requirements: First or upper second class honours degree in a related medical or forensic science. Relevant professional experience will be taken into account if you have no graduate qualifications.

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

English Language Requirement

IELTS of 6.5 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English.

Please check our English language requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English language courses.


English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2015/16
Scottish students £8,200 per year of study
Rest of UK students £8,200 per year of study
EU students £8,200 per year of study
Overseas students (non-EU) £15,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants

Please note: The University is currently reviewing this programme and it may not be open to applications from academic session 2014/15 onwards

Please read the Postgraduate "How to Apply" section for information on how to upload relevant documents to UKPASS before proceeding with your application.

Apply online via UKPASS

Course Contact

Dr Christopher Rynn
Centre for Anatomy & Human Identification
+44 (0)1382 386433